Starting to almost get it

The Story

We humans have been turning resources into toxic waste at increasing speeds.

Money is fiction. Working fiction, yes, as it gives each of us different leverage in consuming resources, turning them into waste at increasing speeds.

But fighting the 1%, or - given that you and I are probably close to being part of the 1%, because we read and write and use the internet - fighting the 0.01%, so that paper-money is more equitably shared, that doesn't even start to solve the real problem.

The real problem is we're turning resources into toxic waste at an increasing speed.

Ok, there are other problems too. Problems on the side, and metaproblems.

One problem on the side is poverty. Even if resources were eternally abundant, and the waste sink eternally deep, the fact is we're not sharing resources well at all.

One metaproblem is governance. Not in the sense of external governance, like when a horse is told when to jump by the human on top. But in the sense of internal governance, like when a crowd decides to stop before jumping off a cliff. (Yeah, some fall anyway.)

We don't know how to change our ways so that we'll stop burning resources and see that we all live till we die of old age.

The What

We need to consume less. Much less. They say, for the Americans, about 5-7 times less, or something in that order of magnitude. For the Europeans, about 4 times less.

(I don't know what it would mean for people in the Canaries, where we get 80% of our food from an average of 5000 km away, which means transporting our own weight a couple of times a year from that distance, and back. And were we get our money from tourists, 5 for each of us each year, that come and go from similar distances. And that's just transport. So no, I don't know what our footprint is.)

That doesn't mean 5% less. It means 5 times less. Or 80% less.

And that's just the average. Those of us who consume more would consume a higher percentage less. Maybe 90%, right?

Can we even start to imagine it?

You want to live until you die of old age, enjoying discoveries and love, and feeling pain, and living with others, and stopping others from doing bad things - all of that, using a fraction of the resources you use now.

Multiplied by the number of people on Earth who over-consume. Which at the very least includes you and I and some other thousand-ish million people.

In a decade or less, please, as bad stuff is already happening.

And mitigating the already inevitable.

And not making it worse by, say, messing around with "climate mitigation" (over-reaction included). See Cascio over at "Truth and Beauty".

Got it? That's the "what". What we need to do.

The How

I have no idea how to do it.

Killing the super-rich and sharing their paper wealth won't even start to cut it, and is distracting us. Yeah, it's important. As important as writing out your mathematical theorem when someone's stabbing you.

Wouldn't you rather stop the stabbing? I know I would. Among other things, because the stabbing is not just on me, personally, you know.

It won't be with our democracies alone. Imagine we all vote green and pirate, and governments get a mandate to stop this mess. Do they change stuff so we can go on over-consuming?

It won't be with our technologies alone. Imagine we get to have cheap solar all over the place. It will take time, and the incumbents will keep fighting to the death of all. How much time do we have, really, if any?

It will need to cut down on resource-use. Not in spending. In resource use. We can print all the currencies we want to, and probably will need to. But we can't keep burning resources like we have been, period.

I guess it will take everything we have, plus the kitchen sink. Everything from individual enlightenment to political hacking to technology to open networks to you name it. And please name it.

(While on "open networks". They'd better be "open" not just regarding content, but also regarding who to cooperate with, and how to better reach our goals. Just saying.)

The What If

If we make it, joy for all. A planetfull of reasons to be proud. And then, maybe, the stars. Or the deep oceans. Or as much music as we can compose, arrange, and play together.

If we don't ... next please! Life will go on, without us. At the very least, without this way of doing things - turning resources to waste at ever increasing speeds - which is doomed whether we act or not.

I know you know.

So let's look at the How, because I honestly don't have much of a clue.